Top 10 Best Entrepreneur Books That You Should Read This Year!

by | Jan 24, 2023

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some advice from those who have already paved the way?

Great news! You don’t have to search to the ends of the earth to get tips from the best anymore. Whether you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey or are looking to take the next step in your business endeavors, the right book can provide you the guidance and confidence you need to move forward.

That is why I’ve taken the time to compile a list of 10 of the best entrepreneur books that have had a huge impact on my life as a lifestyle entrepreneur.

Some of the titles might surprise you as they’re not traditional business books, but I explain why I believe they’re relevant under each title.

So, ‘if you want to walk around so lit up that you shoot sunbeams out of yer eyeballs‘, then keep reading my friend!

Top 10 Best Entrepreneur Books You Should Read This Year

1. You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero is an American author, motivational speaker and success coach, best known for her comedic, no-nonsense approach to personal finance and professional development.

In her books, workshops and presentations, she helps her readers and clients to detox the financial and emotional anxieties that are keeping them from achieving their goals and living their best life. Her words of wisdom, humor, and empowering advice have earned her respect and admiration from across the globe.

From a ‘get out there and make things happen’ perspective this is one of my favorite books.

Aimed at women, but equally as relevant for men who maybe have lost a little of their mojo, this book is written in a down to earth and super humorous manner.

In fact, it’s lit such a fire under my backside, I now read a passage from her book every single morning;

Give yourself the permission and the means (yes, this includes the money), to be who you are REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYBODY ELSE THINKS OR BELIEVES IS POSSIBLE. Do not deny yourself the life you want to live because you’re worried you’re not good enough or that you’ll be judged or that it’s too risky, because who does that benefit? No one, that’s who. When you live your life doing the things that turn you on, that you’re good at, that bring you joy, that make you shove stuff in people’s faces and scream, ‘check this out!!!’, you walk around so lit up that you shoot sunbeams out of yer eyeballs. Which automatically lights up the world around you. Which is precisely why you are here: to shine your big ass ball of fire onto this world of ours. A world that literally depends on light to survive.

In one of Jen’s chapters she encourages you to write a manifesto which is essentially writing down your goals, but do it in a way that you envision having already achieved those goals. This is a great way to get total clarity on what it is you want to achieve in your business (and life).

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

As entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, digital nomads, whatever you want to call yourself, we all have moments of self doubt and a lack of confidence. It doesn’t matter what business model you choose, there will always be some low points and times when you’re unsure you can actually do it.

Anytime you’re in that moment, read this book!

best entrepreneur books - jen sincero

You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero

2. High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard

Brendon Burchard is a best-selling author, high-performance coach, and motivational speaker. His books have sold millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages.

He speaks publicly to diverse audiences across the world, on topics such as motivation, productivity, confidence, and goal accomplishment and at the age of 32, he won the Eaton Prize for his successful and influential humanitarian work. His infectious enthusiasm and energy have helped him to become a popular author, speaker and entrepreneur.

He’s written many books, but this one is my favorite.

It’s pretty easy to read and split into two main sections, Personal Habits & Social Habits, which are then split further into 3 habits in each section and then practices within each habit.

The six habits included are;

Seek Clarity – Be super clear about who you want to be and why you’re doing what you’re doing. What skills do you need to achieve your goals, how can you make a difference, what do you want to feel, is what you’re doing personally meaningful.

Generate Energy – Optimize your health, be intentional about the energy you’re bringing to your life and some specific techniques on releasing tension and setting intention.

Raise Necessity – Really affirm your why for doing things by verbalizing so it becomes real and important, surround yourself with the right people, and know who needs you on your ‘A’ game.

Increase Productivity – Figure out the 20% of your workload or project that really matters and work on that. Focus and say No to everything that is not a priority. Chart the five major moves you need to take to make your goal happen and then treat each move as a project, then work out the five major skills you need to execute your moves and become insanely good at those. (I would say this was the section I got the most out of.)

Develop Influence – This was about challenging people to think in a certain way, helping them to grow and challenge themselves and being a great role model. As far as I’m concerned the greatest influencers act before they talk. It’s something I aspire to myself!

Demonstrate Courage – Accept that there will be struggle and don’t complain about it. Embrace the challenge. Live your own truth and don’t be afraid to share your goals and dreams. Find something bigger than yourself to focus on which will help to drive you forward.

The lesson that had the biggest impact on me was the concept of the five major moves.

Ask yourself, once you’ve set a clear goal, what are the five major moves you need to take to achieve it.

So, for example, if one of your goals was to write and publish a book what five major moves do you need to take to make that happen?

These might include;

  1. Create a detailed outline
  2. Write 1,000 words a day
  3. Hire a proofreader, editor and someone to layout the book for Kindle, Amazon, etc
  4. Start to build an audience and email list of potential buyers
  5. Create a publishing and launch plan to launch with a bang!

What I love about this strategy is that it forces you to focus on the big stuff, rather than getting mired in the minutia.

He also goes into detail about becoming insanely good at what you do, focusing on something bigger than yourself to help drive you forward and loads more.

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

It’s a book written by an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs. It’s literally a blueprint for how to create the habits that lead to success, both personally and professionally.

If you want to create some more high performance habits, read this book.

high performance habit - burchard

High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard

3. Living With a Seal – Jesse Itzler

Jesse Itzler is an American entrepreneur and author who has achieved success in a variety of industries, including marketing, finance, music and television. He is the co-founder of Marquis Jet, an industry-leading aviation company, and he has also established various charitable organizations.

He is an endurance sports enthusiast, having completed a 1,200-mile self-supported bike ride from Washington D.C. to Miami, and has finished Ironman and multiple marathons. He has cohosted ABC’s Shark Tank and was the founder of ZiBBZ, a beverage line.

All this is very impressive, but you may know him better as the husband of Sara Blakely the billionaire founder of Spanx.

Not a typical book for entrepreneurs, this story is about how on one of his ultra marathons he encountered a navy seal who he later contracted for a month to come and live in his house and train him to become super fit.

The story takes you through the 30 days of agony he went through training with, in his words, the toughest man on the planet’. It’s a fab story, very funny and highly motivating although you wouldn’t catch me jumping through an ice hole in a frozen river for love nor money.

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

Although this book has nothing to do with business per say, it’s all about facing adversity, toughening up your mind and doing things that take you completely out of your comfort zone.

Pretty much what an entrepreneur has to do on a daily basis!

If you want a light hearted way to learn some key concepts about increasing your mental strength, read this book;

best entrepreneur books - living with a seal

Living With a Seal – Jesse Itzler

4. Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins

Firstly, David Goggins is the ‘Seal’, Jesse Itzler writes about in his book above.

He is an inspirational, accomplished multi-sport athlete known for his achievements as a Navy SEAL. He has competed in triathlons, ultra-marathons, intense military training regimes and is regarded as one of the world’s toughest endurance athletes.

Goggins has an incredible dedication to pushing his own limits which has seen him set remarkable records in the physical battlefield. He has completed an incredible full Ironman race in just under 24 hours, completing a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile marathon; as well as raising millions of dollars for charity.

His ability to push himself inspires millions of people around the world to take on their own challenges, achieve their fitness goals, and rise above any obstacle they face.

But he wasn’t always like this as charted in his very personal book “You Can’t Hurt Me’.

The book starts by revealing a traumatic childhood resulting in an obese, unfit and unhappy man with dreams of becoming a Seal. As the book progresses he tells the story of how against all odds he achieved his dream, despite going through hell week three times!

His tales of how he overcame challenge after challenge are nothing less than inspirational and a reminder of just how weak minded we can be when faced with a challenge.

The overall message from the book is that we need to callous our minds through action. In other words, we have to do the stuff we need to do, even when we really don’t feel like doing it as it’s that which strengthens our resolve.

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

To build a successful lifestyle business, means working when we don’t have the energy to. It means doing repetitive tasks that sometimes bore us to tears and it means getting up and trying again when things don’t work out. And sometimes it means getting up again, and again and again.

He went through hell week, 3 times. That’s 21 days of massive sleep deprivation, holding up boats, rolling around in cold oceans, excruciating pain, and literally going through hell.

If you need some inspiration when everything has gone wrong and you can’t find the strength to start again, read this book.

can't hurt me - david goggins

Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins

5. The War of Art – Steven Pressfield – Books 1 & 2

Steven Pressfield is a successful author of historical fiction and non-fiction books. As at the age of 76 he’s written 17 books (the first published when he was 52, some 27 years after he started writing).

9 are fiction, 5 are educational books on writing, 3 are historical non fiction books. All have been published in many languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

He’s also written several Hollywood screenplays for films starring names such as Anthony Hopkins, Steven Segal, Emilio Estevez and in 2000 his first novel ’The Legend of Bagger Vance’ was made into a movie starring Will Smith & Matt Damon.

He is widely respected for his inspiring, thought-provoking, and creative writing style which has earned him countless accolades, and he’s quite the character!

I first saw him on an interview with Marie Forleo. He captured me with his talk about ‘resistance’, the invisible force which stops all of us from doing what we really want to do on a regular basis.

In his own words – ‘the enemy—what I call Resistance with a capital “R,” i.e. fear, self-doubt, procrastination, perfectionism, all the forms of self-sabotage that stop us from doing our work and realizing our dreams.

So I picked up ’The War of Art’, then read ’Turning Pro’ and ’Nobody Wants to Read Your S**t’.

All books are easy quick reads and written more like a collection of blog posts put into a book.

I really enjoyed what he called ‘Book One’ & ‘Book Two’ in ’The War of Art’. Book One is all about resistance and how it stops us progressing and Book Two is all about becoming a professional and how to overcome it.

Book Three I’ll be honest goes over my head a bit. It’s all about angels & muses and the authentic self, and just got a bit woo woo for my tastes. But it didn’t stop me going on to read two more of his books!

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

He was 52 when he finally penned and published his first book after years of procrastination and self doubt. He didn’t just write this books based on some pithy personal development trend he learned about.

His thoughts and suggestions come from years of experience. They resonate with any entrepreneur who knows who they want to be, but can’t quite get past their own mental demons to go for their dreams.

If you’re finding that your biggest obstacle is yourself, read this book.

best entrepreneur books - the war of art

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

6. The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

Talking about obstacles…

Ryan Holiday is an American author, entrepreneur, and marketer, best known for his work on stoicism. He has written several books such as The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, and Stillness Is the Key.

He also runs a website called The Obstacle Is the Way, which focuses on behavioral and cognitive strategies to help people be more successful in their personal and professional lives. He has been featured in Inc. Magazine and the New York Times, and is a thought leader when it comes to productivity and personal growth.

As an advocate for stoicism, in this book, Ryan takes us on a journey through events & stories about people like Amelia Earhart, Thomas Edison, Margaret Thatcher, Teddy Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Eisenhower & many more.

His goal with the book is to demonstrate not only how we can overcome obstacles but become stronger because of them.

The very definition of stoicism is ‘the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.

More of an intellectual person’s self help book, rather than the rambunctious ‘You are in charge of your life’, ’Nothing can hurt you if you don’t let it’, ‘Change your story, change your life’ cries from the popular self-help gurus, this was a deeper, more demonstrable exploration of how we can control our perceptions, actions and will in order to better control our life.

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

As lifestyle entrepreneurs, our days and weeks are filled with obstacles. Some big, some small; all a hindrance if we struggle to deal with challenges in a positive way.

The book emphasizes the idea that attitude and persistence are the keys to success and offers strategies to help us stay focused in the face of adversity. Ryan encourages us to frame obstacles as opportunities and create our own chances by practicing self-mastery, doubling down when times are tough, and acting with integrity in every situation.

If you ever feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall, read this book!

the obstacle is the way

The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

7. Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari is a renowned historian and philosopher from Israel, who is best known for his best-selling books Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

He holds a Ph.D. from Oxford University and is currently a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Harari is widely acclaimed for his thought-provoking and deeply insightful writing, which unapologetically tackles challenging concepts such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and mass surveillance.

His stories are humorous and often controversial, torn between the old-world intrigue of the human past and the tech-driven future of Artificial Intelligence. His works often combine big-picture research and penetrating philosophical analysis, with creative storytelling to create a gripping narrative which captivates readers and stirs thought-provoking conversations.

If this sounds like a tough read, let me assure you, it is. But also intriguing, interesting and mind bending.

Sapiens walks through the history of humankind from the beginning of human existence to where we are now. Covering the Cognitive Revolution (70,000 years ago), the Agricultural Revolution (10,000 years ago), and the Scientific Revolution (500 years ago), Harari explores prehistoric humans, where and when humans evolved, neanderthals, the evolution of Home Sapiens (meaning – wise man) and how through each revolution we and the world changed and evolved.

It made me realize that the world we live in today is really just an idea, a thought, a cog in the wheel of evolution.

Capitalism and nationalism that so many fight & die for are no more than a few decades old and money is simply an evolutionary concept. It doesn’t really exist. Trade is real, money isn’t. (I told you it was mind bending).

He covers religion, gender, war, the economy, the future. It’s jam-packed with so many out of the box ideas, you can’t possibly read it and not have your eyes opened and your thoughts broadened. It’s a book you can’t go back from if you get my meaning.

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

To survive as an entrepreneur in todays environment, means being open to change. We need to be able to adapt quickly and embrace new ways of working and thinking. We will struggle to do so, if we believe that our current state of being is ‘the way it’s always been’.

Harari demonstrates how the life we live today is simply a passing phase and how change is a natural occurrence.

If you find yourself stuck in a rut and are reluctantly closing your mind to new possibilities, read this book.

sapiens

Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari

8. The One Thing – Gary Keller

Gary Keller is an American entrepreneur, best-selling author, and real estate investor. He is best known for co-founding the real estate franchising company, Keller Williams Realty, in Austin, Texas in 1983.

He is also the author of multiple best-selling books about success and real estate, including The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and The ONE Thing. Under Keller’s leadership, Keller Williams has become one of the largest real estate companies in the world, with over 800 offices in 36 countries.

The ONE thing is not only a book, but is now a podcast and a movement!

Advocating the benefits of focus, the one thing teaches exactly what it says on the cover. How to hone in and focus on your ‘one thing’.

For me personally, it’s a tough book to read. Not because it’s difficult to understand, but because the concept of focusing on just one thing is so darn hard!

It’s core idea is to ask yourself the question – ‘What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

I have tried endlessly to focus on only one thing at a time, but so often struggle to make it a reality. However, I also know from experience that we get nowhere fast trying to focus on too many things.

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

The fact is, the concept is sound. As entrepreneurs, we think we’re awesome at multi-tasking, but the truth is no-one is. It’s a misnomer.

If you find yourself with too many things to do, not enough time to do them in, and feel like you’re peddling fast and going nowhere, read this book!

 

best entrepreneur books - the one thing

The One Thing – Gary Keller

9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k – Mark Manson

Mark Manson is a New York Times bestselling author and self-help powerhouse. He wrote “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” which has been translated into 30 languages and has sold over 5 million copies. He is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope”.

He is recognized for taking a comedic and often irreverent approach in examining topics of mental health and personal growth. Manson’s writing has been featured in numerous publications including Time, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Rolling Stone. Mark Manson has also become a popular speaker at various conferences and events, delivering talks on anything from relationships to philosophy to entrepreneurship.

You either love or hate Mark Manson’s style of writing. I happen to love it.

As the title of the book suggests, he’s pretty down to earth and unafraid of expressing his opinion and whilst I don’t always agree with everything he says, I love how open and honest he is.

The book as the name suggests is about getting comfortable with being different, or expressing different opinions or following your own path rather than that of the crowd.

It’s actually not about not caring. It’s far more about being precise and calculated in what you do care about, and ensuring you only care about that which is important to you and could actually impact your life positively.

He also talks quite a lot about personal identity. If you believe deep down that you are or are not something then you will take the actions necessary to prove that.

For example, if you identify with being a great cook, you will do everything in your power to be a great cook and god forbid you to serve up a horror of a meal.

However if something threatens your identity you’re more likely to avoid it, for example, if you’ve been overweight for most of your adult life and you subconsciously identify with someone who is constantly losing weight, the chances are you will avoid taking the actions necessary to lose that weight once and for all.

For real! I can see that.

It’s a fairly quick and easy read with lots to make you think, so I highly recommend giving it a go.

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

As entrepreneur’s it’s important that we focus on the things that are going to have the biggest impact on our businesses and lives. We need to filter out the 20% of what we do, that produces 80% of the results.

So often we get caught up worrying about things that just aren’t important enough to warrant the mental time we waste on them.

If you’re regularly getting swept up in unimportant issues, find yourself procrastinating a lot and spend too much time focusing on the opinions of others, read this book.

the subtle art - mark manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

10. Half The Sky – Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are an award-winning journalist couple and authors. Kristof is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and WuDunn is the first Asian-American Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter.

The two began writing together in 1989 when WuDunn was a business editor at The New York Times and Kristof was the Beijing-based bureau chief for the newspaper. In 2009, the pair published their book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

The book has been translated into more than 20 languages and has been produced as a PBS documentary, video game and mobile game. Together, they have spoken out around the world helping to raise awareness of issues concerning women and extreme poverty, and they have built an online and on-the-ground movement to catalyze real change.

You might be wondering how this book made it to my best entrepreneur books list. Please allow me to explain.

Quite simply this book changed my life. Half the Sky is a collection of stories about women in Africa, Cambodia, South America and other war torn, poverty stricken and developing countries.

Interviewing the women themselves, NGO’s, charitable organizations, the writers explore the horrors that the women in these countries are facing today. Illegal and underage prostitution, human trafficking, genital mutilation, arranged marriages, legalized rape, infanticide, murder. It is horrifying.

However, they also shine a light on the organizations who are trying to effect change, the people on the ground, the charities and in particular the programs which impacted me the most, the micro lending institutions.

Founded by a chap called Muhammad Yunus back in 1976 in Bangladesh, the Grameen Bank is a micro finance organization and community development bank.

Microfinance is basically a way of funding people in impoverished areas with no collateral or banking facilities and giving them the startup monies they need to start a small business which transforms the lives of themselves, their children & their communities.

97% of the borrowers are women.

The stories are nothing short of inspiring.

The story of the lady in Pakistan being beaten by her husband and Mother in Law and Brother in Law, who borrowed $75 to start making and selling shawls at the local market and who now employs her entire village including her deadbeat husband. No-one touches her anymore!

The story about the woman in Cambodia, trafficked as a young girl into illegal prostitution and drug addiction who now runs a home for victims of the same who she goes out and saves via local police raids.

The lady who was tied to a tree in the DRC and gang-raped repeatedly for 2 weeks until she escaped to a refugee camp in Uganda, where she started a small business selling charcoal and now heads up a group of women she calls the ‘Angels’ who out of their profits fund other female startups in the camp.

My research led me to an organization called Kiva.org founded in 2005 who work with NGO’s in affected countries to find people who need loans and then through their website crowdfund those loans in increments in $25 or more.

So far through my Micro Angels group we’ve lent $1675, which will all get repaid and lent out again to others in need. So you don’t help one or hundreds you potentially help thousands as your money gets loaned over and over again effecting dramatic changes across the globe!

If you’d like to help, become a member of my lending team here – https://www.kiva.org/team/microangels

Why This Made My Best Entrepreneur Books List

Why are we entrepreneurs? Why do we put ourselves through the struggle and the self doubt and the highs and the lows? Why do we carry on when it all goes wrong, or there isn’t enough in the bank to pay the rent next month?

Sure we all strive for freedom, of working our own hours, putting our kids through college, helping our aging parents, not having to work for someone else and having the funds to live our best life.

But that’s not all, or we’d stop as soon as we hit those goals. And yet we continue. Take more financial risk, try new things, have more sleepless nights.

It’s because deep down we want to have an impact. We want what we do or have done to mean something. We want to leave a legacy in our own way. Big or small as long as we know we helped and we mattered.

If you’re ever wondering how you can help, how you can make an impact and how you can affect change in the world, read this book.

best entrepreneur books - half the sky

Half The Sky – Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Best Entrepreneur Books – Summary

So there you have it. My top 10 best entrepreneur books which have had a huge impact on my life and business.

Right now I’m reading ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’ by Chris Guillebeau, and I have the distinct feeling he may make my next Top 10!

I do hope you’ve found this list interesting and thought provoking. There are so many amazing books written by incredible authors I could spend all day writing about them. For now though, this will have to do!

Happy reading!

Jo 🙂

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